AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) - The Sumter County Sheriff's Office chaplain announced at a vigil Wednesday night that the second officer shot by an armed and dangerous suspect earlier in the day has made it out of surgery.
Officer Jody Smith, with the Georgia Southwestern State University, is out of surgery and his current condition is unknown.
Americus Police Officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr, 25, was shot and killed by 32 year-old Minquel Lembrick. Lembrick was identified as the suspect by the Sumter Co. Sheriff's Office. The second officer, Officer Smith, was also shot.
"We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends," Americus Chief of Police Mark Scott said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. "There are no words to express the pain and the sorrow we in Americus feel at this loss."
GBI Director Vernon Keenan says that Starr's body will be transported to the GBI office in Macon for an autopsy on Thursday. His body will be transported with an honor guard.
There were more than 20 law enforcement agencies present, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, investigating the shooting.
On Wednesday night, Keenan issued a stern message to Lembrick saying: "This is a message from local, state and federal law enforcement to Mr. Lembrick. Enough violence has occurred today. We want you to call 911 and arrange to turn yourself in. Everyone's safety is important. Contact us to end this in a peaceful manner. We want the violence to end today. Call 911 and arrange to turn yourself in, and let's end this matter."
There is a $30,000 reward for the information that will lead to Lembrick's arrest.
The shooting happened when the officers responded to a domestic dispute call around 9:40 a.m. at an apartment complex near Georgia Southwestern State University on S. Lee St.
Both Officer Smarr and Officer Smith responded to call and engaged with Lembrick, who shot them and fled the scene. Both officers were transported to a hospital, and Smith was later taken via medical helicopter to a Macon hospital, where he is currently in critical condition.
The university sent an emergency alert to students, faculty, and staff stating that a shooting happened off campus near the south side of the Griffin Bell Golf Course.
Georgia Southwestern State University remains under lockdown. Other local schools were also placed on lockdown and parents were allowed to pick their children up.
The first notice was issued shortly after 10 a.m.
"Please secure all doors and windows (any additional actions such as shut down HVAC, turn off lights, move to a unobservable part of the room, get on the floor, away from doors) and await further instructions or contact by first responders," the notice said. "I repeat, a campus lockdown has been declared. Please relay this information to affected individuals within your work/classroom area immediately and follow instructions of Emergency Operations team members and local authorities."
A Facebook page linked to Lembrick made a number of troubling posts since Tuesday night, including a four-second Facebook live after the shooting Wednesday stating "Imma miss y'all folks, man."
Another Facebook post from Wednesday said "Love y'all," while another read "I love ya Nikki Brown. I tried to stay out to get ya [expletive] happen...other life gone not going to jail."
Lembrick's Facebook page has since been deactivated.
Lembrick is considered armed and dangerous. There is also a $30,000 reward from the GBI, FBI, and other local law enforcement agencies for any information on his whereabouts.
Smarr was hired by the Americus Police Department in September 2015. He has been a certified law enforcement officer since 2012, and previously worked at the Telfair County Sheriff's Office, the Sumter Co. Sheriff's Office and the Vienna, GA Police Department.
University Systems of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby released the following statement Wednesday evening.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers, their families and the Georgia Southwestern State University and Americus communities. We are deeply saddened by this tragic attack on our law enforcement officers," Huckaby said. "They have dedicated their lives to protecting our students, faculty, staff and the citizens of Americus. We are heartbroken and on behalf of our colleges and universities send our prayers and support to Georgia Southwestern and the Americus community."
Meanwhile, Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop released a statement Wednesday afternoon about the tragic incident:
"This morning in Americus, two law enforcement officers were shot by a gunman near Georgia Southwestern University, which was put on lockdown. One of these officers did not survive his wounds, while the other remains in critical condition. The gunman has been identified and multiple law enforcement agencies are coordinating in an effort to find him and bring him into custody.
We must never forget the sacrifices of our first responders and their families. My condolences go out to the families of the officers, and I pray for the full recovery of the injured. I also pray for a swift resolution to this manhunt, and I have full confidence in the law enforcement agencies searching for the shooter."
Check back for more updates.